Cricket Australia must adopt a risk minimisation approach as it adapts to coronavirus pandemic

This 7 days a sporting items company declared the creation of the initially cricket shoe specifically intended for girls, a lightning reaction to the institution of international women’s cricket a mere 86 yrs ago.

Cricket’s typically languid rate, collectively with the innate conservatism of we brown cardigan-sporting purists, points out why the activity is not the very first activity that springs to brain when the pandemic arts of “adaption” and “pivoting” are mentioned.

It was originally reckoned Australian cricket experienced dodged the worst of the COVID-19 crisis with Australia’s Women’s T20 Environment Cup victory back in March beating the shutdown by days, even as the grim economic forecasts that expense Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Kevin Roberts his situation designed a sense of foreboding.

But now the cricket time looms and we feel no closer to a COVID-19 vaccine than to a Nathan Lyon triple century. Adapt and pivot, cricket will have to.

So much we have observed the postponement of the men’s version of the T20 World Cup that was scheduled for Oct 18 to November 15 and, inevitably, Australia’s T20 matches against West Indies that have been to have served as a direct-up.

This unsurprisingly opened the window for the delayed and displaced Indian Leading League (IPL) to be contested from September 19 to November 10. This implies some of Australia’s best players will be in the United Arab Emirates instead of anywhere the 1st couple rounds of Sheffield Defend matches are played.

The probability stars this sort of as Patrick Cummins, Steve Smith and David Warner will miss out on the commence of the domestic season has caused some anguish among the those who claim red-ball online games in Australia should trump the IPL — notwithstanding that the Sheffield Defend routinely commences with out Australian reps even though they are satisfying the contractual obligation of obscure just one-working day internationals in Oct and early November.

Steve Smith’s appearances for the Blues in the Sheffield Protect period may perhaps be minimal.(AAP: Albert Perez)

Although you could possibly argue national representation delivers a more credible leave go than private IPL contracts, it would be churlish — and politically naive — to stop players earning further profits when CA is negotiating wage cuts.

And any insistence Smith turns out for NSW or Cummins has a trundle at Bellerive Oval would seem even less compelling offered Australia is relying on India to enter quarantine in Australia for two weeks in advance of playing Check and ODI series reportedly worth $300 million.

As it stands, Australia will engage in 3 ODIs and three T20s versus England that had been initially scheduled for July in September. Those people with IPL contracts will then vacation to the UAE by which time we really should know if Smith’s sanitising regimen is as quirky as his batting.

With the global agenda remodelled consequently, notice has turned to the incredibly problematic domestic period.

Cricket Australia has known as a assembly with states subsequent 7 days to go over the several problems of border restrictions, the price tag of hubs and, no doubt, to hear the conditions of fairly COVID 19-free towns these kinds of as Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane, who are keen to get their hands on the scheduling spoils which includes the Boxing Day Exam.

Cricket can study from AFL, NRL

If cricket has not avoided the worst of the pandemic, it has experienced the prospect to observe the a variety of football codes in their attempts to guard the trustworthiness of their seasons in the most unusual instances.

The most powerful lesson is risk minimisation. For the AFL and NRL this intended fast reducing the variety of states in which video games were performed even if the nature of property-floor benefit was diminished or completely removed.

For Australia’s Check series against India, undoubtedly this means confining matches to those people states where there is at least some likelihood of dwell attendance, even if this means depriving the currently weary and isolated Melbourne sports activities group of the Boxing Working day Examination.

Checks in opposition to India in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth (not at present scheduled) seem to be the most bankable with Sydney’s increasing COVID prices now a genuine danger to the New Year’s Take a look at.

In the latest worst-circumstance state of affairs, two Tests in Adelaide (1 day and a person day-night time), Boxing Working day in Perth and just one Take a look at at the Gabba would represent a palatable pivot from the common fixtures and supply the variation in situations a credible Check series demands.

The Sheffield Defend creates likely bigger complications. There has been pushback from the suggestion the season be diminished from 10 games to eight. But how does an fundamentally loss-creating competition justify the expense of the sort of multi-million-greenback hubs remaining made use of by the AFL?

The WBBL will run from October 17 to November 29 and, as Australian stars which includes Alyssa Healy have highlighted, will clash with a women’s T20 tournament that runs concurrently with the IPL.

A Sydney Sixers WBBL player holds her bat in one hand and her helmet in the other as she celebrates a century against the Stars.
The WBBL agenda may possibly affect on the earning likely of players this kind of as Alyssa Healy.(AAP: Richard Wainwright)

This indicates contracted WBBL players is not going to be ready to increase their earnings as male stars can — something we may well be expecting to be corrected in 86 several years or so making use of the equipment manufacturing timeline.

In the meantime, CA this 7 days declared that highly regarded batting mentor Trent Woodhill experienced been appointed as a guide to support re-energise the BBL, which has been introduced ahead to December 3.

Woodhill, an early adopter of the game’s brutal new batting arts, has in no way noticed a ball that could not be ramped. If there is a participant or innovation that could incorporate some existence to a relatively stale thought, he will know about it.

For the club cricketer? Shockingly, the new playing protocols this season prohibit players from sharing afternoon tea.

So in an unusual summer season, there is 1 certainty — retailers of Tim Tams, BBQ Shapes, bash pies and lamingtons are about to choose a sizeable strike.

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The pandemic has changed how criminals hide their cash—and AI tools are trying to sniff it out

The pandemic has forced criminal gangs to come up with new ways to move money around. In turn, this has upped the stakes for anti-money laundering (AML) teams tasked with detecting suspicious financial transactions and following them back to their source.

Key to their strategies are new AI tools. While some larger, older financial institutions have been slower to adapt their rule-based legacy systems, smaller, newer firms are using machine learning to look out for anomalous activity, whatever it might be.

It is hard to assess the exact scale of the problem. But according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, between 2% and 5% of global GDP—between $800 billion and $2 trillion at current figures—is laundered every year. Most goes undetected. Estimates suggest that only around 1% of profits earned by criminals is seized.

And that was before covid-19 hit. Fraud is up, with fears around covid-19 creating a lucrative market for counterfeit protective gear or medication. More people spending time online also creates a bigger pool for phishing attacks and other scams. And, of course, drugs are still being bought and sold.

Lockdown made it harder to hide the proceeds—at least to begin with. The problem for criminals is that many of the best businesses for laundering money were also those hit hardest by the pandemic. Small shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs are favored because they are cash-heavy, which makes it easier to mix up ill-gotten gains with legal income.

With bank branches closed, it has been harder to make large cash deposits. Wire transfer services like Western Union—which usually allow anyone to walk in off the street and send money overseas—shut their premises, too.

But criminals are nothing if not opportunistic. As the normal channels for money laundering closed, new ones opened up. Vast sums of money have started flowing into small businesses again thanks to government bailouts. This creates a flurry of financial activity that provides cover for money laundering.

Breaking the rules

The upshot is that there are more demands being placed on AML tech. Older systems rely on hand-crafted rules, such as that transactions over a certain amount should raise an alert. But these rules lead to many false flags and real criminal transactions get lost in the noise. More recently, machine-learning based approaches try to identify patterns of normal activity and raise flags only when outliers are detected. These are then assessed by humans, who reject or approve the alert.

This feedback can be used to tweak the AI model so that it adjusts itself over time. Some firms, including Featurespace, a firm based in the US and UK that uses machine learning to detect suspicious financial activity, and Napier, another firm that builds machine learning tools for AML, are developing hybrid approaches in which correct alerts generated by an AI can be turned into new rules that shape the overall model.  

The rapid shifts in behavior in recent months have made the advantages of more adaptable systems clear. Financial regulators around the world have released new guidance on what sort of activity AML teams should look out for but for many it was too late, says Araliya Sammé, head of financial crime at Featurespace. “When something like covid happens, where everybody’s payment patterns change suddenly, you don’t have time to put new rules in place.”

You need tech that can catch it as it is happening, she says: “Otherwise by the time you’ve detected something and alerted the people who need to know, the money is gone.” 

For Dave Burns, chief revenue officer for Napier, covid-19 caused long-simmering problems to boil over. “This pandemic was the tipping point in many ways,” he says. “It’s a bit of a wake-up call that we really need to think differently.” And, he adds, “some of the larger players in the industry have been caught flat-footed.”

But that doesn’t simply mean adopting the latest tech. “You can’t just do AI for AI’s sake because that will spew out garbage,” says Burns. What’s needed, he says, is a bespoke approach for each bank or payment provider.

AML technology still has a long way to go. The pandemic has revealed cracks in existing systems that have people worried, says Burns. And that means that things could change faster than they were going to. “We’re seeing a greater degree of urgency,” he says. “What is traditionally very long, bureaucratic decision-making is being accelerated dramatically.”

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CEOs take pay cut, but boards urged to show more ‘restraint’ in pandemic

The number of ASX200 CEOs getting no bonus, meanwhile, jumped from 7 to 25, which ACSI said pointed to boards using “sensible discretion”. As the economy is devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, the influential group expects more moderation this year.

IDP Education chief executive Andrew Barkla, who topped ACSI's list of highest-paid ASX200 CEOs on a realised pay basis.

IDP Education chief executive Andrew Barkla, who topped ACSI’s list of highest-paid ASX200 CEOs on a realised pay basis.Credit:Wayne Taylor

“We expect a greater level of restraint from boards on CEO pay in 2020 given the impact of the COVID pandemic on investors, companies and the broader community,” ACSI chief executive Louise Davidson said.

Ms Davidson, who has previously suggested bonus hurdles were too low, said it was encouraging some companies had already announced they would not be paying bonuses this year. “Investors will be concerned if bonuses are paid in companies that have undertaken emergency capital raisings or have relied heavily on government support,” she said.

The highest paid CEO for the year was Mr Barkla, CEO of IDP Education, which helps international students study in English-speaking countries. His ranking was a result of share options granted to Mr Barkla before the company floated in 2015, and its share price rising sharply over that period.

The report said Mr Barkla’s pay eclipsed that of the previous record-holder, Domino’s Pizza chief executive Don Meij, and it was the first time a CEO from outside the ASX100 had topped the list.


An IDP spokeswoman said Mr Barkla’s current pay was consistent with market benchmarking, and the realised pay figure for 2019 reflected 4.1 million options granted to him when he was appointed CEO in 2015.

“The value created through the exercise of those options in FY19 reflects the performance of the business during that period. IDP Education’s market capitalisation rose from $660 million at IPO to $4.4 billion at June 30, 2019, in turn resulting in significant value creation for shareholders of the company,” the spokeswoman said.

Chief executive of biotechnology giant CSL, Paul Perreault, was second on the list with realised pay of $30.53 million. ACSI said much of Mr Perreault’s realised pay also came from share options.

Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals chief Philippe Wolgen was third, with realised pay of $20.62 million, which ACSI said was the result of performance rights granted when the company’s share price was much lower.

Treasury Wine chief executive Michael Clarke was next with realised pay of $19.85 million, after also ranking in the top 10 last year.

Macquarie Group CEO Shemara Wikramanayake's realised pay for 2019 was $19.3 million.

Macquarie Group CEO Shemara Wikramanayake’s realised pay for 2019 was $19.3 million.Credit:

Ms Davidson said that with some new CEOs joining the top 10 in 2019, it was a reminder of how valuable equity incentives could be, and boards needed to carefully consider this potential value before grants were made.

No bank chief executives made the top 10, after bank CEO pay was cut in part due to the damning findings of the Hayne royal commission. However, the report did not include Macquarie Group chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake because she did not serve the full year as CEO. Ms Wikramanayake’s realised pay for the year was $19.3 million, ACSI said, which would have put her in fifth place.

ACSI provides advice on environmental, social and governance issues to 39 large asset owners that collectively own 10 per cent of ASX200 companies, on average.

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Gillian Triggs on COVID-19, refugees and human rights in a pandemic

Gillian Triggs is nervous, but she has large hopes younger persons around the globe will proceed to communicate out and fight for human rights.

Gillian Triggs (Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Gillian Triggs is involved with the state of the planet. The previous president of the Australian Human Legal rights Fee (AHRC) and formidable legal scholar fears the pandemic has grow to be a easy justification to fail to remember about human legal rights.

“COVID is remaining utilized as a camouflage for a considerably much more restrictive set of insurance policies, even for traditional liberal democracies. It’s very, quite stressing,” Triggs instructed a Crikey subscribers’ celebration last night.

All-around the entire world, drawbridges are being pulled up, borders are shutting down, police and navy hold greater rein over our lives — all in the title of stopping the virus. The obstacle, Triggs claims, is to make sure these restrictions are “essential and proportionate”.

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Victoria records 15 deaths, including man in his 30s, and 725 new coronavirus cases on worst day yet of pandemic

Victoria has recorded 15 deaths and 725 new coronavirus bacterial infections on the state’s worst working day of the pandemic to date.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Wednesday explained 538 folks remained in medical center, with 42 of those people battling the infection in intensive care. 

Of the 15 new deaths recorded on Wednesday, just one was a gentleman in his 30s and twelve ended up joined to the state’s aged-treatment sector.

“Can I mail my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to every single of all those families,” Mr Andrews reported.

“This will be a terrible time and any and all help we can provide to you we will and we are with you in this pretty tough time.”

Mr Andrews stated elective operation would be postponed in regional Victoria, except for category one clients and the most urgent class two people. 

The same measures have presently been applied to elective surgeries in the metropolitan Melbourne region.

“We can’t have a circumstance in which we are making the sickest people wait longer simply because we are treating wholly worthy and crucial ailments, but not essentially time-critical ailments,” he informed reporters.

“We are not able to set those people ahead of men and women who will need that urgent treatment.”

Mr Andrews on Sunday declared a Condition of Disaster in Victoria as very well as the adoption of Stage 4 limitations for metropolitan Melbourne. 

The relaxation of Victoria is relocating into Phase 3 constraints. 

Metropolitan Melbourne inhabitants are subject matter to Stage 4 limits and will have to comply with a curfew concerning the hrs of 8pm and 5am. All through the curfew, people today in Melbourne can only go away their residence for function, and vital health and fitness, care or security reasons.

Amongst 5am and 8pm, individuals in Melbourne can leave the property for exercise, to store for necessary items and providers, for do the job, for health care, or to care for a ill or aged relative. The entire list of restrictions can be observed right here.

All Victorians must put on a face masking when they leave home, no make a difference where by they dwell.

Persons in Australia ought to keep at the very least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s limits on gathering limitations. If you are dealing with cold or flu indications, continue to be property and arrange a take a look at by calling your medical professional or call the Coronavirus Wellbeing Facts Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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First new musical since pandemic began to have London premiere in pub garden – Channel 4 News

London is getting a premiere of the first new musical since the pandemic began at a specially designed theatre space in a pub garden.

Fanny and Stella is inspired by the story of two drag queens in Victorian England who were put on trial for dressing as women and accused of conspiring to commit sodomy.

They were acquitted and took their show on the road.

Minnie Stephenson has been to see the socially distanced production get underway

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The pandemic workday is 48 minutes longer and has more meetings

We log longer hours. We attend more meetings with more people. And, we send more emails.

From New York City to Tel Aviv, the telecommuting revolution has meant a lot more work, according to a study of 3.1 million people at more than 21,000 companies across 16 cities in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

The researchers compared employee behavior over two 8 week periods before and after Covid-19 lockdowns. Looking at email and meeting meta-data, the group calculated the workday lasted 48.5 minutes longer, the number of meetings increased about 13% and people sent an average of 1.4 more emails per day to their colleagues. 

In a few cities, such as Los Angeles and Chicago, the average workday length returned to its pre-pandemic levels. But longer days persisted in New York City, San Jose and most of Europe well into May. 

“People have adjusted their work patterns,” said Jeff Polzer, a professor in the organizational behavior department at Harvard Business School, one of the study’s five co-authors. 

During the two month time frame, there was one part of working that did improve: Those additional meetings were shorter, according to the analysis by researchers at Harvard Business School and New York University. The study was published by the National Bureau of Economic Relations this July. 

Companies are studying the impact of the forced work-from-home experiment on productivity, morale, culture, costs and other factors to determine how they might modify their practices going forward. Other analyses looking at VPN data found people were putting in three additional hours in the U.S. and logging in at odd hours. People who spoke to Bloomberg News attributed their harried schedules to child care demands, blurring boundaries between work and home, and the stresses of an economic recession.

The group from Harvard and NYU said their research represents one of the largest studies so far and included data from 16 metropolitan areas. 

Polzer from Harvard says more research is needed to see if habits have changed permanently, but he doesn’t expect behavior to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon. “It’s not like we’re going to back to normal times,” he said. 

More must-read careers coverage from Fortune:

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July numbers prove pandemic progress

Countries successfully controlling the coronavirus are in all regions of the world, although under-represented in the Americas. Alan Austin examines the latest data.

THERE are 80 major countries that now have the coronavirus suppressed or controlled, though few if any have eliminated it. We know this by counting infections and deaths worldwide for the month of July, just ended.

Of these 80, 27 countries recorded no July deaths at all, eight recorded just the one death, nine recorded two and the other 36 three or more. All kept deaths per million population below three — which is our definition of “success”. (Data is from Worldometers, here.)

Virus controlled or suppressed

Major developed countries (populations above 300,000 and classified as highly-developed by the UNDP) with zero deaths in July were New Zealand, Iceland, Estonia, Taiwan and Cyprus. Two of these, New Zealand and Taiwan, can almost claim elimination – with just 20 and 19 active cases respectively. The other three have active infections above 48 per million inhabitants, so have the virus controlled but not yet eliminated.

Advanced countries with fewer than one death per million in July were Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Finland, Slovakia and Lithuania.

The Americas

Just three countries in the Americas account for more than half the world’s active cases at the end of July. These are the United States (2,221,570), Brazil (689,679) and Bolivia (49,035). This is despite having just 7.1% of the world’s population.

Altogether, the 29 countries in North, Central and South America – with just 12.9% of the world’s population – accounted for 64% of all July deaths.

The six largest American countries by population experienced these deaths in July:

  • Canada:  344 (9.1 per million)
  • Argentina: 2,236 (49.4 per million)
  • United States: 26,697 (80.6 per million)
  • Colombia: 6,771 (133.0 per million)
  • Mexico: 18,879 (146.3 per million)
  • Brazil: 32,912 (154.7 per million)


Given that about a dozen countries within an easy drive of Lombardy, Italy, were devastated by the first wave of the pandemic in February and March, Europe has recovered remarkably well. Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland and Malta recorded no deaths in July. Finland and Slovakia had just the one, and Georgia, Lithuania and Latvia, two. Altogether, 18 European states recorded fewer than three deaths per million.

One notable success story is Spain whose fatalities have plummeted. From 8,464 deaths in March and a disastrous 16,079 in April, deaths eased to 3,487 in May, fell to 325 in June and tumbled further to 90 in July. Control is possible. Felicidades!


Of the 80 nations which have kept deaths low, the largest group – 31 countries – is in Africa. Caution is required as many of these have poor health facilities and limited capacity to record outcomes accurately. So infection and death rates may be higher than official statistics reveal. Nevertheless, grave fears at the outset that there would be millions of deaths across Africa have not been realised.

Australia in perspective

Australia finds itself outside the top 80 countries for July because of the spike in infections which began in Victoria on 3 July. Total deaths in Australia in July were 93, up from ten in May and just two in June. That was 3.64 deaths per million.

The Victorian experience has certainly hurt Australia’s hitherto excellent global ranking. But perspective is required.

Two states have near-identical populations, land area, climates, geography, demographics, economies, systems of government, social development and health care facilities. They are Arizona in the USA and Victoria in Australia.

Administrations in both states watched from a safe distance the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, late last year, then observed the explosion of infections in the European countries surrounding Italy.

They observed the infection arrive on their own continents at the same time. The first death in Australia was in Perth on 1 March — the day after the first U.S. death, in Washington State, on 29 February. Victorians and Arizonans then watched the disastrous initial impact in distant states — in New York, USA and in Sydney, Australia. So both had time to prepare responses.
Tragically, the virus did arrive in these two states, causing the first deaths within a few days of each other in late March. Since then, however, outcomes have been vastly different.

Current active infections
  • Arizona: 147,602
  • Victoria: 5,919
Total deaths
  • Arizona: 3,694
  • Victoria: 116
Total deaths per million population
  • Arizona: 508
  • Victoria: 17.9

Victoria certainly must heed the messages arising from the recent surge of cases — many of which are carefully analysed here by IA‘s Dr Binoy Kampmark. The State Premier’s response has been the strictest of all the states from the onset of the virus. But things could get much worse. And may yet be.

Coronavirus unveils all: Aged care and the Victorian crisis

Economic impact

The entire global economy is being hurt by this pandemic. Of the 113 economies which have posted their annual gross domestic product (GDP) this year, 52 recorded negative economic growth – that is, an actual decline in GDP – in the March quarter. Another five have already recorded negative annual GDP growth for the June quarter.

We must await the results of the rest of the world for June. But, so far, only Vietnam and China appear to be avoiding recession.

Fortunately, unemployment is not quite so bleak. Jobless rates have barely budged in those countries which have managed the virus well, and even in some which haven’t.

Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, Czechia and 42 other countries all still have the jobless rate below 4%. Another 37 have it below 6%. Of these, several have actually reduced the jobless rate over the last year, including Indonesia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Government actions matter

It is too early to assess the pandemic’s overall economic impact. But it is clear that decisions made by each administration will largely determine success or failure.

The negative lesson from Australia is that this is an unpredictable enemy, requiring constant vigilance. The positive lesson – which Arizonans and most other residents of the Americas may wish to ponder – is that collaborative efforts by states, federal authorities and the community based on the science can keep the harm well below that experienced where this is not in place.

Morrison cancels Parliament due to COVID-19 — and Dan Andrews

Alan Austin’s defamation matter is nearly over. You can read an update HERE and help out by contributing to the crowd-funding campaign HEREAlan Austin is an Independent Australia columnist and freelance journalist. You can follow him on Twitter @AlanAustin001

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Face masks are now strongly recommended in NSW as state enters ‘critical’ stage of pandemic

NSW Leading Gladys Berejiklian has strongly encouraged people today don marks in 4 conditions which include when in enclosed regions such as on general public transportation.

Public-going through workers, worshippers, persons living close to local community clusters and these in enclosed areas, this kind of as on general public transport or in grocery retailers, really should put on experience masks.

“These are tips to hold all of us protected,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian mentioned on Sunday.

“They are recommendations to make certain we continue to keep NSW in the position we are in. I simply cannot stress plenty of how essential the up coming few months are.”

Elderly people today or individuals suffering fundamental wellness issues should also have on masks.

Key Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday posted a photograph to social media of himself carrying a deal with mask.

“(The mask) safeguards other individuals you arrive in get in touch with with in enclosed locations, in unique the retail salespeople just accomplishing their jobs.

“Not a good deal to inquire. All in this alongside one another,” he stated.

But Ms Berejiklian stopped small of producing masks compulsory.

“We have been chatting about masks for numerous weeks but of course the persistent scenario in Victoria presents us trigger for alarm,” she said.

In the meantime, a Newcastle pub was shut on Sunday for deep cleaning after a COVID-19 beneficial individual from Sydney frequented on Thursday.

Wallsend Diggers CEO John Hume stated he was contacted by NSW Wellbeing on Sunday and advised the man or woman had been in the club past Thursday in between 7pm and 9pm.

Mr Hume mentioned every visitor on that night experienced been discovered and NSW Health and fitness was calling them.

“We have also been encouraged that we are not the only venue in the spot that has been shut down as a final result of this human being at this stage,” he posted on Fb.

The club is predicted to re-open up on Monday.

NSW recorded 12 new virus scenarios in the 24 hrs to 8pm on Saturday from pretty much 22,500 exams.

One particular case had no regarded resource, with NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty revealing 7 situations in the prior 7 days were not linked to known circumstances.

8 men and women with the virus are in intense care.

An 83-12 months-old gentleman connected to the Crossroads Lodge cluster in southwestern Sydney died at the weekend, having the NSW loss of life toll to 52 and the nationwide tally previous 200.

It was the very first coronavirus-connected loss of life in NSW considering the fact that late May.

NSW Wellbeing on Sunday confirmed a person with coronavirus attended the Advance Early Understanding centre in Merrylands, in western Sydney, among July 27 and 29, prompting the childcare centre to close for cleaning.

The Thai Rock Wetherill Park cluster is nearing 100 circumstances, even though the cluster in east suburban Potts Position has achieved 24.

Individuals in Australia ought to stay at least 1.5 metres away from some others. Examine your state’s restrictions on collecting boundaries.

If you are going through chilly or flu signs or symptoms, remain property and set up a examination by contacting your health care provider or call the Coronavirus Health and fitness Data Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and facts is offered in 63 languages at

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Exchange students caught up in coronavirus pandemic share their experiences

The coronavirus pandemic is testing the resilience of young people on student exchange in Australia and abroad.

Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program (YEP) sends, on average, 150 teenagers overseas each year and hosts a similar number of foreign students.

The global health crisis has seen 80 of the current contingent return home to Australia or overseas.

Some say they are glad to be home, while others are resisting a premature end to their exchange.

‘I feel like a Tasmanian’

A teenager wearing glasses pats a kangaroo.
Yoqub Davlatov’s student exchange to Australia was his first overseas trip.(Supplied)

Tajikistan is home for Yoqub Davlatov, who had been soaking up the Tasmanian way of life for the past 11 months.

Unlike other Rotary exchanges, the plan to have the 17-year-old visit Australia was hatched between Rotarian Felicity Gifford and Yoqub’s family a few years ago when Ms Gifford volunteered in the Central Asian nation.

Yoqub said the support of Ms Gifford and her family, as well as his Tasmanian friends, helped him enjoy his first trip overseas.

“It’s really good to feel like a Tasmanian person.”

Yoqub Davlatov
Yoqub Davlatov has developed a love of bushwalking since arriving in Australia.(Supplied)

The biggest challenge for Yoqub and Ms Gifford was finding a way for him to return home, with few routes available to Tajikistan.

‘I’m safer here’

Fifteen-year-old Sofia Seneme is on a year’s exchange in Wagga Wagga in south-western New South Wales.

She said it had been difficult to watch her country of Brazil become one of the world’s coronavirus hotspots.

Sofia Seneme
Sofia Seneme says she feels safer living in Australia than back in Brazil at the moment.(ABC Riverina: Mollie Gorman)

“My family were happy for me to stay. They feel I am safer here.”

Sofia’s choice to remain in Wagga Wagga was mostly because of her love for the region’s natural beauty and the friendships she had forged.

“It will be hard when I go back to Brazil; I think I will cry at the airport.”

Love of language a motivation to stay

In France, Launceston teenager Alice Lowe’s drive to stay abroad was fuelled by a clear goal.

“I was really motivated by my French, because I didn’t want to go home not being able to speak French,” she said.

Alice Lowe on student exchange in France
Alice Lowe says not seeing many tourists is a quirk of doing her exchange during a pandemic.(Supplied)

While France’s lockdown earlier this year put an end to Alice’s plans to travel around, the 16-year-old said she was still glad she stayed.

“It wouldn’t really be better if I came home; the situation wasn’t much better in Tasmania at the time,” she said.

Her father, Matt, said she wanted to finish the experience.

“She was pretty determined to stay. We were happy for her to do that.”

Told to stay overseas

When Daniel Maxwell told his parents he wanted to come home early from Norway, his parents encouraged him to stay.

Daniel Maxwell on exchange in Norway
Daniel Maxwell eventually decided to stay on exchange.(Supplied)

The 16-year-old wanted to return to Port Macquarie in NSW because he was bored in lockdown and struggled with the language barrier.

But Ms Maxwell said she and her husband held out.

“Had he been saying things like: ‘I’m really worried about getting COVID, or I’m scared to be on the other side of the world in this situation’ — I think we probably would have been more worried,” she said.

“But because the reasons for him wanting to come home were trivial and fairly par for the course of exchange anyway, it made me feel better. It was the right thing to do.”

Daniel Maxwell on exchange in Norway
Daniel Maxwell has not regretted the decision to stay in Norway.(Supplied)

Positives despite being stuck inside

Despite his best efforts to “wait out” the pandemic, Joel Mangion’s family decided to fly him back to Canberra.

Joel said being stuck inside his host families’ homes for most of his seven months in Brazil had been disappointing.

“Since the pandemic, I haven’t been able to go to school so I had a profound lack of friends,” he said.

Joel Mangion
Joel Mangion decided to come home early from Brazil.(Supplied)

His father, Charles, said the experience had a positive effect for Joel despite the pandemic.

“I can see that his confidence levels have still grown,” he said.

Rotary International has urged students to strongly consider ending exchanges and fly home if possible and safe.

Rotary’s long-term youth exchange program has been suspended for 12 months.

Joel Mangion
Joel Mangion could not go to school during his time in Brazil because of the pandemic.(Supplied)

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